Brian's Song (1970)



Critic Consensus: Buoyed by standout performances from James Caan and Billy Dee Williams, Brian's Song is a touching tale of friendship whose central relationship transcends its standard sports movie moments.


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Movie Info

This football film draws on the memoirs of Chicago Bears' Gale Sayers to depict his friendship with fellow player Brian Piccolo, who lost his life to cancer after a valiant struggle.

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Critic Reviews for Brian's Song

All Critics (12) | Top Critics (2)

On its own, somewhat obvious level, Brian's Song worked. Not least in its favor were two exceptionally fine performances: James Caan as Brian Piccolo and Billy Dee Williams as Gale Sayers.

Aug 31, 2016 | Full Review…

Made-for-TV eyewash for disheartened Bears fans to drown their sorrows in.

Jan 25, 2008 | Full Review…

Weepy story of interracial pro football teammates.

Dec 22, 2010 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…

The film's emotions are obvious and blunt, but they get the job done.

Jan 25, 2008

It remains the best example of the most different of men competing fairly and getting along peacefully ever filmed.

Dec 6, 2005 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Brian's Song

Good film. Great character portrayals by James Caan and Billy Dee Williams. The chemistry and camaraderie between the two is what makes this film so great. Brian's Song is worth seeing, even if you're not a fan of football.

Stephen Skudlarek
Stephen Skudlarek

Super Reviewer

Oh, How Melo-Drama was enjoyable in the 70's! Now a days, You can't even last a minute with a movie like that. In Brian's song Case, I lasted the whole film, enjoying moderate parts of it. Also, no matter How much, i love football, i do not shed tears, only Old Yeller, can get that close.

Joseph Eastmond
Joseph Eastmond

Super Reviewer


If you thought this was a bit sappy in 1970 you should watch it again. The thing practically oozes with overt sentimentality. Still, it's an indelible childhood memory for men of my generation and an almost iconic piece of '70s Americana. ...and yes, it still makes me cry (dammit).

Randy Tippy
Randy Tippy

Super Reviewer

This is one of the best films I've ever seen -- I lived in Aurora, Illinois when Brian died! I loved him as a Bear, and I was terribly saddened by his death -- I remember all that Gayle Sayers did for him, but I didn't know this much -- A Wonderful film --

Tom Ericksen
Tom Ericksen

Super Reviewer

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